Plea on Account of Romance Lost

Behold, do not I love thee?

Or have I uttered it too much?

Is it not my bounden duty

to lay out my heart now crushed,

to lift it up, extending 

the hand of reconciled 

love to thee, since our parting 

was done in silent exile?


I would not, for sake of pain,

forsake your vesture in me.

Mere absence of romance, disdain

thou not! but now honourably

call upon that same vesture 

I have duly made in thee

and restore our convecture

to dwell at last in harmony.


What evil have I wrought thee?

Or what offense in thy sight 

by my hand so wickedly

done cause thee to go in flight

from our phileoship, abject

of hope, and leaving me in

my despondence to reflect

on all I did to thee in sin?


Though I count all our impassioned

hours, calling every kiss to mind

from ecstasy or compassion

or intermediary kinds;

Was evil done? Innocence lost?

I meaasure every embrace

and find not one that would so cost

the Christchild's blood or God's grace!


I wrote of thee no word deceit-

ful - you've record of my praises!

Character and Beauty I cheat

not; my lauding of thee raises

thee aloft as brazier-fire

to the mere candlesticks of

women else to be desired

though no longer have we love.


But lovers not, I love thee, friend.

Spite not my outstretched hand,

but take it! ending the first end

and then with me I bid you stand.

Return, O swiftly come once more

to our cameraderie again

and let not the friendship in store 

decay and disintegrate in vain!

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